Here at Nova STEMversity, all we do is think about STEM. And climate change is one of the hot (or cold, depending on the season) topics on many tongues and minds lately. Last month, we saw some of the hottest recorded temperatures in the United Kingdom, Canada, and several states in the US. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Company, the temperature broke at least ten records in the last week of the month. The winter, especially in Canada, is expected to be even colder than usual. So what can we do to prepare for the increasing unpredictability that the changing climate is bringing from season to season?
But first, let's reflect on how we got here. Leaving one light on after leaving the room or plugging a cell phone in to charge overnight didn't cause climate change. Motor vehicles, factories, power plants and other things that produce carbon dioxide en masse are the reason for the increased heat in our atmosphere. When carbon dioxide gets caught in the atmosphere and catches the heat from the sun (rather than releasing it back into space), it makes the Earth a bit warmer than usual. And with more cars hitting the road and factories going up everyday, it seems things aren't on the best path forward.
And the path won't lead anywhere good. With the temperatures increasing at the current pace, we could see many animals becoming extinct due to their habitats no longer being tenable. The remaining animals may have to seek alternative food sources to make up for previous sources that have disappeared. In addition, we can see more wildfires and flooding due to melting ice sheets and glaciers. We will see more heatwaves, more droughts, and more extreme weather.
Nothing is set in stone, though. On it's list of 17 goals, the UN has prioritized Climate Action at number 13 since 2019. In 2016, former President Obama signed the Paris Agreement, which is an initiative designed to encourage each country to develop a plan to combat climate change. Current President Biden formed the National Climate Task Force with goals of "Reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030, reaching 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050, [and] delivering 40% of the benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities."